• Paul Fingleton

Microsoft win appeal over US search warrant case for data in Irish Data Centres

Microsoft have won a long fought case of a search warrant issued in the US to gain access to e-mails and other files held in their Ireland-based Data Centres.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York overturned the earlier ruling.

Speaking today concerning the ruling, President and Chief Legal Officer at Microsoft, Brad Smith called this an important decision for everyone.

"First, this decision provides a major victory for the protection of people’s privacy rights under their own laws rather than the reach of foreign governments. It makes clear that the U.S. Congress did not give the U.S. government the authority to use search warrants unilaterally to reach beyond U.S. borders. As a global company we’ve long recognized that if people around the world are to trust the technology they use, they need to have confidence that their personal information will be protected by the laws of their own country."


"While Microsoft filed and persisted with this case, we benefited every step of the way from the broad support of many others. We are grateful for this support, including the filing of amicus briefs in the case by 28 technology and media companies, 23 trade associations and advocacy groups, 35 of the nation’s leading computer scientists and the government of Ireland itself." - Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft


"Second, since the day we filed this case, we’ve underscored our belief that technology needs to advance, but timeless values need to endure. Privacy and the proper rule of law stand among these timeless values. We hear from customers around the world that they want the traditional privacy protections they’ve enjoyed for information stored on paper to remain in place as data moves to the cloud. Today’s decision helps ensure this result."

Microsoft called for the U.S. Congress and Executive branches of government to use this decision to come together to better legislate and modernise the laws around technology